Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tony Podesta: Making It Ukraine and the Legalized Bribery Chain...,

pjmedia  |  It is plausible that the Clinton campaign and the DNC, working through Fusion GPS, suggested to Veselnitskaya that she should meet with the Trump campaign. This would have given the Democrats a clear link between Trump and the Russians, and it would have given Veselnitskaya an opportunity to further her work on Putin's behalf, with one of the two leading presidential campaigns. Furthermore, Fusion GPS's role as an intermediary would have given both plausible deniability.

According to a recent FEC complaint, the Clinton campaign and the DNC obfuscated their hiring of Fusion GPS by listing payments to the law firm Perkins Coie as being for "legal services." This violated the law, as the money really went to opposition research. The decision to work through Perkins Coie — and to mislead the FEC about the nature of services — suggests the Clinton campaign and the DNC were hiding something.

Clinton also would have had an incentive to try and manufacture connections between Trump and Russia. Throughout 2015 and into early 2016, Trump was the Republican frontrunner, and he had praised Putin many times, suggesting he would "get along well" with the Russian president. The Russia angle made sense for Clinton to develop, and it would have been a perfect way to distract from her own troubling Russia connections.

If Clinton wanted to convince Americans that Trump is Putin's real puppet, her campaign would need more evidence than a few positive comments. After all, Trump was not the candidate who helped approve a 2010 deal giving Russian company Rosatom 20 percent of U.S. uranium — right at the time when that very Russian company was under FBI investigation. The FBI kept the investigation secret, just when it would have been most important.

In 2015, Peter Schweitzer had published the blistering story in The New York Times uncovering Clinton's connections to and benefits from the 2010 Uranium One purchase. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had been paid $500,000 for a speech — at a Russian bank promoting Uranium One stock.

According to an anonymous witness threatened by the Obama administration, the FBI investigation into Rosatom also uncovered documents and an eyewitness account rather inconvenient for the Clintons. This evidence corroborated earlier reports that Russian officials had routed millions of dollars into the U.S. to benefit the Clinton Foundation just as Hillary Clinton served on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which endorsed the Uranium One deal. This past Wednesday night, the Department of Justice finally authorized the informant to disclose his information and documents.

At the same time as the FBI kept its Rosatom investigation secret, the agency acted fast to bust a Russian spy ring because it got too close to Hillary Clinton.

All that makes sense, but why try to manufacture connections between Russia and the Trump campaign — when Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort had worked for Ukraine's Party of Regions, a group backed by Putin?

This past week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced that his investigation into Manafort had extended to cover Tony Podesta — a Clinton campaign bundler who co-founded the Podesta Group with his brother, Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta. Both Manafort and Podesta may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), an allegation PJ Media reported last April. Emphasizing Manafort might have revealed Podesta and his connections to Clinton.